Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH vs Fender American Ultra Precision Bass

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Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH
Playability
75
Sound
75
Build
60
Value
80
Score
70
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Fender American Ultra Precision Bass
VS
Playability
72
Sound
83
Build
82
Value
69
Score
79
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Reasons to Get
Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH over Fender American Ultra Precision Bass

Release Year
2022 vs 2019
From a more recent year
Frets Height
Taller vs Shorter
Easier to press down strings and bend them
Type of Frets
Narrow Tall vs Medium Jumbo
You won't feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Neck Profile
Bass C Shape vs Bass Modern D
Comfortable neck that works for most people
Pickups
SH vs SS
Very bright bridge tone and a very warm neck pickup
Paint Finish
Poly vs Nitro
Resistant paint that ages well
Preamp
Active vs Active/Passive
More versatile and customizable tonal palette than a Passive preamp
Value Score
80 vs 69
Better price/quality relationship

Reasons to Get
Fender American Ultra Precision Bass over Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH

Country of Manufacturing
United States vs Indonesia
Built with higher quality standards
Type of Frets
Medium Jumbo vs Narrow Tall
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Compound Radius
10" to 14" vs 12"
Balanced playability for chords and single-notes
Neck Profile
Bass Modern D vs Bass C Shape
Thin and flat neck for playing fast
Pickups Brand
Fender vs None
Pickups from a renown brand
Nut Material
Bone vs Graphite
Good quality nut with rich tone
Pickups
SS vs SH
Beautiful cleans
Number of Frets
21 vs 20
Allows to reach higher notes
Paint Finish
Nitro vs Poly
Thin finish that creates aging marks faster
Preamp
Active/Passive vs Active
Providing the best range of tonal options

Other Key Differences
Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH vs Fender American Ultra Precision Bass

Bridge Pickup
Squier SQR Ceramic Humbucker vs Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Jazz Bass
Different Bridge Pickup
Body Wood
Poplar vs Alder
Different Body Wood
Neck Wood
Roasted Maple vs Maple
Different Neck Wood
Fretboard Wood
Laurel vs Rosewood
Different Fretboard Wood
Nut Material
Graphite vs Bone
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH vs Fender American Ultra Precision Bass

Headstock
4
Same Headstock
Strings
4
Same playing style
Body Type
Solid Body
Feedback free
Switch Positions
0
Same pickups versatility
Volume Knobs
1
Same volume control
Tone Knobs
1
Same tone control
Nut Width
1.625'' (41.3mm)
Same string separation at the nut
Bridge
Fixed
Good sustain and needs no set-up
Scale Length
34'' (863.6mm)
Same string tension and fret separation
Pickups Power
Passive
Cleaner sound and no battery needed
Neck Joint
Bolt-On
Allows you to detach and swap the neck

Common Weaknesses

  • Neck-Through Build
  • Pickup Alter Switch/Knob
  • Weight Relief
  • Retainer Bar
  • High-Quality Frets
  • Luminescent Sidedots
  • Strap Lock
  • 21:1 Tuner Ratio

Table of Contents

Price History Comparison

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH Prices

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Which One is Better?

After going through our comparison algorithm, the results show that the Fender American Ultra Precision Bass is probably the better product overall with its final score of 79 compared to the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH's 70 score, although not by a lot.

The Fender American Ultra Precision Bass wins when it comes to sound, build quality. On the other hand, the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH has the upper hand when it comes to playability, value for the money.

If you got small hands, none of these instruments will make a big difference when it comes to comfortability.

Which One is Better for Beginners?

If you're looking for your first bass to learn how to play, the Fender American Ultra Precision Bass is the better choice.

The Fender American Ultra Precision Bass meets 4 out of our 6 criteria items for beginner friendliness, while the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH meets only 3. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players.

New Player Friendliness

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH
  • Comfortable shape
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale

New Player Friendliness

Fender American Ultra Precision Bass
  • Comfortable shape
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale

Nevertheless, when it comes to choosing an instrument, you should pick the one more compatible with your personal style. Still, below we'll try you to give you our results as objectively as it's possible to help you decide.

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH Overview

  • From Fender Squier's 2022 Contemporary series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 4 strings
  • 34"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Poplar body
  • Roasted Maple neck
  • Indian Laurel fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Squier SQR Ceramic Humbucker (Humbucker/Active)
  • Neck pickup: Squier SQR Split Single-Coil (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 4-Saddle Standard bridge
  • Bass C Shape Bolt-On neck
  • 20 Narrow Tall frets
  • Vintage-Style tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Fender American Ultra Precision Bass Overview

  • From Fender's 2019 American Ultra series
  • Made in United States
  • 4 strings
  • 34"'' scale
  • 10" to 14" Fretboard Radius
  • Alder body
  • Maple neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Jazz Bass (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: (/)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 4-Saddle HiMass (Toploaded) bridge
  • Bass Modern D Bolt-On neck
  • 21 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Fender F Light-Weight Vintage-Paddle Keys with Tapered Shafts tuners
  • Weight between 9.125lbs (4.1kgs) and 9.563lbs (4.3kgs)
  • Compare Specs >

Sound Quality Comparison

The wood used in an electric guitar or bass is not as important to determine the final tone. However, some people prefer specific wood types, so we'll take a look at those first. Then, we'll take a look at the electronics to determine the versatility and sound quality of each instrument.

Woods Used in the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH

Roasted Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Roasted Maple
Laurel wood pattern used for guitar building
Laurel
Poplar wood pattern used for guitar building
Poplar

Roasted Maple is just maple without a finish. It's technically cheaper than regular maple, but it doesn't have any extra disadvantages because of this. The color is darker, and it's lighter weight and very stable even when there's a lot of humidity.

There are many types of Laurel, but East Indian is the most common for guitar building. Its color can vary from dark to light brown with black lines. Many people find its tonality similar to Rosewood, which favors the warmer frequencies. Find out more about Laurel.

Poplar is a cheaper and heavier alternative to Alder wood. It terms of tone, it emphasizes the low-end and has cutting mids. It's relatively soft compared to most body woods. Find out more about Poplar.

Woods Used in the Fender American Ultra Precision Bass

Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple
Rosewood wood pattern used for guitar building
Rosewood
Alder wood pattern used for guitar building
Alder

Maple is one of the most popular necks for good reasons. It is a strong wood that is relatively cheap to make and looks beautiful. The highest quality maple is the hardest that comes from North America. Find out more about Maple.

Rosewood is an almost purple-looking wood that is used mainly for fretboards since it's heavy, rare, and expensive. It's sometimes used on acoustic guitar bodies to create stronger warm tones. Find out more about Rosewood.

Alder is the most popular wood that Fender uses in most of their guitars nowadays. Even though they say it's because of its balanced tone with an emphasis in the upper midrange, it probably is because it isn't too expensive, and it's also pretty lightweight—more than Mahogany. Find out more about Alder.

Winner: Fender American Ultra Precision Bass.

Pickup Configuration

The Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH has an SH configuration while the Fender American Ultra Precision Bass has SS pickups.

SH is a more versatile version of the classic telecaster (SS) configuration. The bridge pickup usually produces a bright and twangy tone, while the neck Humbucker gives you the warmer tone you'll need for more Jazzy/Bluish solos and chords.

On the other hand, SS is the classic Telecaster configuration. It's used mainly for playing clean or with low-gain distortion, and it's very popular for the country genre because of their brightness. It doesn't give you as much versatility as a Strat SSS configuration, but you might like the cleaner look of a guitar body with fewer pickups.

Pickups Quality

The Fender American Ultra Precision Bass pickups from a more specialized brand than the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH. Its pickups should give you a fuller, richer sound, although it all depends on what type of music you're going to play. We recommend these pickups for Country and similar genres.

Both use Passive pickups. This is what's used for most music genres. They have a regular output and will serve you for both high-gain and clean tones. The alternative (Active pickups) offer a higher output that is mostly used for heavy music.

Preamp Circuit

A preamp in an electric bass functions as an electronic circuit that acts as an interface between the bass's pickups and the amplifier. Its main purpose is to amplify and customize the bass's initial signal before it reaches the amplifier, offering enhanced control over factors like tone, volume, and sound attributes. Preamps typically come equipped with tone adjustments, equalization options, and sometimes built-in effects, empowering bass players to fine-tune their sound to suit their personal preferences and the musical environment.

The Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH's preamp is Active while the Fender American Ultra Precision Bass's is Active/Passive.

Active: Unlike passive basses, which rely solely on passive pickups and tone controls, active preamps require a power source, typically a 9-volt battery, to operate. The active preamp offers several advantages, including the ability to boost or cut specific frequencies, resulting in a more versatile and customizable tonal palette. Active basses are favored in genres where precise tonal sculpting and extended tonal options are essential, such as jazz fusion or progressive rock. However, they do require occasional battery replacement or recharging to ensure optimal performance.

Active/Passive: This type of circuit combines both passive and active electronics in one instrument. This versatile setup allows the player to switch between passive and active modes, providing a wide range of tonal options. In passive mode, the bass relies on traditional passive pickups and tone controls for a warm and organic sound. In active mode, the onboard preamp circuit is engaged, offering enhanced EQ shaping capabilities and sometimes a signal boost. This flexibility caters to a broader spectrum of musical styles and playing preferences, as it allows the bassist to switch between the classic, vintage tone of passive operation and the more versatile and finely tuned active mode, all within the same instrument.

Winner: Fender American Ultra Precision Bass.

Versatility Comparison

Some instruments offer you more ways to explore your creativity than others. Below you'll find how both compare when it comes to versatility.

Switch Options

Both are equal when it comes to the pickup switching option.

Neither of them come with some kind of coil split or pickup mod option. This makes both lacking in terms of versatility.

In this case, both of them lack pickup selector.

When evaluating versatility, we also take into consideration bridge and neck joint type, number of frets, switch options, amount of pickups and more.

Winner: Fender American Ultra Precision Bass.

Final Sound Quality Scores

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH
Pickups 65
Sustain 85
Versatility 70
Tuning Stability 80
Sound 75
Fender American Ultra Precision Bass
Pickups 100
Sustain 65
Versatility 85
Tuning Stability 80
Sound 83

Build Quality Comparison

When it comes to build quality, we like to take into account everything used to build the instrument. This includes materials, hardware and the quality control expected depending on the country where it was built. Let's see how the Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH compares to the Fender American Ultra Precision Bass.

Country of Origin

The manufacturing country can tell a lot about the build quality of an instrument. The Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH is built in Indonesia while the Fender American Ultra Precision Bass is made in United States.

Indonesia is becoming the most popular country for guitar building because they can make good instruments for a low price. Some people think that they're 'the new China' when it comes to build quality. But the truth is that Indonesian guitars are more consistent, although Chinese quality has improved a lot in the last few years.

The United States is considered one of the best electric guitar manufacturers in the world. A guitar made in this country is supposed to have world-class quality control. Nowadays, guitars made in other countries can beat some of the ones made in the US, but most of the time, this country offers the best you can get. Of course, that comes at a price.

Winner: Fender American Ultra Precision Bass

Nut Material

If you want your bass to stay in tune and sound good, you need a well cut nut. Nut quality can be inconsistent even when comparing two copies of the same model. The best way to make sure you're nut will be well done is by getting a nut made by an expert company like TUSQ or Micarta.

The Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH has a Graphite nut. It's a self-lubricating material that will allow the strings to slide over the nut without a lot of friction. It's a good type of nut if you want to have better tuning stability than with plastic, although it's not as resistant as Bone or Tusq.

On the other hand, the Fender American Ultra Precision Bass comes with a Bone nut. It's a type of nut found in high-quality instruments. They sound similar to Ivory since they give a lot of sustain and a bright sound (at least when striking open strings). The only problem they can run into is that you may get a bone piece that simply doesn't sound as well as others because that's just how natural materials are.

Winner: Fender American Ultra Precision Bass.

Fret Material

Most fret wire is made of nickel silver. This material eventually wears down after a lot of use and most instruments end up needing a complete fret replacement. However, some expensive models come with stainless steel frets. This is what you should aim for if you can afford it.

Unfortunately, none of them come with stainless steel frets.

Winner: Tie.

Tuners

Both come with regular tuners. The Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH's are Vintage-Style while the Fender American Ultra Precision Bass's are Fender F Light-Weight Vintage-Paddle Keys with Tapered Shafts

Winner: Tie.

Neck Joint

Contrary to popular belief, the difference in sustain and tone that some neck joints give to a bass is simply unperceivable—if they're all well built. However, some of them do have advantages over the others.

Both have a Bolt-On neck joint. This neck is joined to the body by 4 bolts that you can simply unscrew. This allows you to replace the neck or take it off for travel. It's the most common and cheapest way to build a guitar.

Winner: Tie.

Here is the list of features that were considered when choosing the winner in the Features subcategory:

Strengths & Weaknesses
Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH
  • Active Preamp
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Retainer Bar
  • No Strap Lock
Strengths & Weaknesses
Fender American Ultra Precision Bass
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Active/Passive Preamp
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Retainer Bar
  • No Strap Lock

Final Build Quality Scores

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH
Quality of materials 46
Features 70
Quality Control 65
Build Quality 60
Fender American Ultra Precision Bass
Quality of materials 66
Features 85
Quality Control 95
Build Quality 82

Playability Comparison

Let's now compare their playability. Bear in mind that the instrument will feel different depending on your hand size and play style. That's why you should always test before buying. But if you can't or want a second opinion on it, we can still take a look at each of the important measurements of the instrument for you. This way, we can predict how easy a bass might be to play, or how different it will feel compared to the other.

Remember that, even though the difference might seem small, every inch counts when it comes to feeling of the instrument in your hands. Any variation can completely change how comfortable a bass feels in your hands.

Nut Width

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH Nut Width
Both Guitars Have The Same Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, both have a nut width of 41.3mm (1.625'').

This is considered a wide width for a 4-string bass. It gives your fingers the extra space you need to play without muting accidentally, but this also makes bar chords harder to perform, especially if you have small hands.

Scale Length

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH and Fender American Ultra Precision Bass's Scale Length
Both have the same scale length

The scale length is one of the things that influences playability the most. This is the distance between the nut and the bridge and will affect everything from low action allowance, difficulty to perform bends, fret separation, and even tone.

In this case, both have a scale length of 34".

This is a scale used for baritones and guitars with more than 6 strings. Since the scale is so long, the tension of the strings will be higher. This means that bending will require a lot more strength than with a shorter scale. However, it also allows you to use really low tunings without causing fret buzz and without needing to increase your string gauge too much.

Lastly, remember that you can also affect the tension of the strings by changing your string gauge. You can use a thicker gauge for more tension and a lighter one for less tension.

Neck Profile

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH Neck Profile
Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH's neck profile
Fender American Ultra Precision Bass Neck Profile
Fender American Ultra Precision Bass's neck profile

No single neck shape is better than others. However, most people tend to prefer a thinner necks because it doesn't get in their way when playing fast and most hand sizes can adapt to it pretty well. However, some people still prefer thicker necks for a better grip, especially if they have big hands.

In this case, both have different neck shapes:

The Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH has a C type of neck. This is what you'll find in most modern guitars. Most people feel like the thickness of a C neck is simply the less intrusive one for playing fast, while at the same time allowing you to grab the neck easily for resting if you want to.

The Fender American Ultra Precision Bass, on the other hand, has a D neck. This is a thin and flat neck that is made for playing fast. If you prefer a neck that doesn't get in your way when soloing, this is the shape you should use. Guitarists that prefer to have a bit more grip won't like this type of neck.

Fretboard Radius

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH Fingerboard Radius
Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH's Fingerboard radius
Fender American Ultra Precision Bass Fretboard Compound Radius
Fender American Ultra Precision Bass's Compound Fretboard Radius

Most bass fretboards are not flat; they usually have a curve or arc across their width. A curved fretboard will make it easier to perform chords without muting strings, while a flatter one will make it easier to play single notes, which is good for bending and soloing in general. The best fretboards have a compound radius that varies across the fingerboard, but they're not common since they take a lot more work to build.

In this case, the Fender American Ultra Precision Bass is the only one with a compound radius. This is a huge win because it will give you the best of both worlds: a more curved radius in the first few frets for chords, and flatter as you come closer to the body for soloing.

Hand Size Comfortability

Everyone has a different hand size, and that's why it's recommended to try a bass before buying, even if others tell you that it's comfortable to play. However, we can know whether a bass favors small or large hands just by knowing its exact measurements.

After taking into account the scale length, nut width, neck profile and fretboard radius, we can conclude that both in this comparison are balanced for most hand sizes.

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH:
Big Hands
Small Hands
Fender American Ultra Precision Bass:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH Frets Size
Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH's Frets Size
Fender American Ultra Precision Bass Frets Size
Fender American Ultra Precision Bass's Frets Size

The Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH has Narrow Tall frets, which should be taller than the Fender American Ultra Precision Bass's Medium Jumbo frets.

Some people prefer taller frets because they result in more sustain since the strings get pressed cleanly without interference from the fretboard. However, if they're too tall—like Jumbo frets—, you might change the pitch of the strings accidentally if you press too hard because you won't be touching the fretboard with your fingers. This is also why some guitarists with a heavy grip prefer smaller frets. They like to feel the fingerboard to avoid pressing down too hard and getting out of pitch.

Final Playability Scores

Fender Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH
Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 60
Solo Playability 80
Playability 75
Fender American Ultra Precision Bass
Bending & Vibrato Ease 65
Chord Playability 80
Solo Playability 70
Playability 72

Specs Side-by-Side

Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH vs Fender American Ultra Precision Bass
General Squier Contemporary Active Precision Bass PH Fender American Ultra Precision Bass
Brand: Fender Squier Fender
Year: 2022 2019
Configuration: SH SS
Strings: 4 4
Made in: Indonesia United States
Series: Contemporary American Ultra
Colors: White, Orange White, Sunburst, Brown
Left-Handed Version: No No
Body
Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Material: Poplar Alder
Bridge: 4-Saddle Standard 4-Saddle HiMass (Toploaded)
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On Bolt-On
Tuners: Vintage-Style Fender F Light-Weight Vintage-Paddle Keys with Tapered Shafts
Fretboard: Indian Laurel Rosewood
Neck Material: Roasted Maple Maple
Decoration: Pearloid Dot White Pearloid Dot 7mm
Scale Size: 34" 34"
Shape: Bass C Shape Bass Modern D
Frets: 20 Narrow Tall Nickel Silver 21 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver
Fretboard Radius: 12" 10" to 14"
Nut: Graphite Bone
Nut Width: 41.3mm (1.625'') 41.3mm (1.625'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Squier SQR Ceramic Humbucker (Humbucker / Active) Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Jazz Bass (Single Coil / Passive)
Middle Pickup: Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Precision Bass (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Squier SQR Split Single-Coil (Single Coil / Passive)
Switch: 0 Way 0 Way
Knobs: Dome Dome
Pickup Mods: None None
Volume Controls: 1 1
Tone Controls: 1 1